According to news reported by Intercept Brasil, the church of Edir Macedo (IURD) was transporting money from Angolan faithful in secrecy to South Africa and Brazil.
Installed in more than 90 countries, the IURD has about 500 thousand faithful in Angola, according to information from the church itself.
The first report of a money transport route was made four years ago by ex-bishop Alfredo Paulo Filho, responsible for the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD) in Portugal between 2002 and 2009. In 2013, he broke with Universal and started posting videos on youtube where he denounced various aspects of the church.
However, due to the lack of concrete evidence at the time the videos were set to be released, the authorities did not give much importance to the matter. Now the situation is different.
In Angola, a movement called Reforma – a group of religious linked to the church, who also broke with the leader of the IURD, Edir Macedo, appears. The group reinforces as accusations and revelations, for the first time, details of the supposed route of remittances from the African continent to the European.
How did transportation work?
At least twice a year, Brazilian pastors of the IURD in Angola generally carry money originating from tithes and offerings to South Africa. The amount would be transported by car and generally traveled between 4 to 6 million dollars per trip. Banknotes are not hidden in suitcases, tires or vehicle linings.
The mission was reserved only for Brazilian pastors, as they are the closest to the dome of the church. Angolan religious said they had no access to Universal’s accounts. The transfer of undeclared resources is illegal so, according to the religious, it would be a way to withdraw the resources from the country and redirect them to irrigate Edir Macedo’s empire, specifically, to his European arm.
Former bishop Alfredo Paulo said that the money would be transported to South Africa after one of Universal’s biggest campaigns to obtain it, a so-called Fogueira Santa de Israel. True believers even donate all wages and personal property to prove their faith.
This article is available in: Português